November 6, 2015 —
As the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation officially opened its doors, the country begins coming together in unity and peace. The opening is a culmination of a hard work during a long journey that has only just begun, says the centre’s director Ry Moran.
“As we discussed throughout the last two days, this is very much the start of the journey rather than the end of it. That’s the exciting part, where we’re heading next and the journey that we’re all collectively now on. We’re just going to follow the road where it takes us.”
As the ceremonial march from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation starts, Carl Stone (centre) brings smiles to those around him with one of his many stories.
Carl Stone leading the ceremonial procession across the Fort Garry Campus.
The procession ended in University Centre.
Hundreds of people were on hand to take part in the Reconciliation dialogue.
Phil Fontaine, former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, was honoured in a special ceremony marking 25 years since he first spoke on national television about his experience of abuse at a Residential School and pressed the importance of reconciliation in Canada.
Fontaine addressed the crowd with an emotional testimony that brought tears to many in the audience.
A smudging ceremony followed as an eagle feather fanned Fontaine's troubles off him and back to the Creator. Fontaine was then given new moccasins and wrapped in a blanket, so he can walk lighter and better.
Special guests gathered after the opening events to continue the conversation.
Over 2,000 students and educators were at the opening ceremonies on the second day at the RBC Convention Centre.
During a day-long series of events schools from across Winnipeg and beyond came together to echo a chorus of hope and unity. Education is the key and Canada's youth are primed to lead the way.
A variety of sessions throughout the day presented reconciliation in different light. While discussions were paramount, students also heard about the Residential School System through music and traditional Indigenous storytelling.
During one of the panel discussions, elders, dignitaries and students shared their thoughts on what it means to move forward in reconciliation.
The Truth and Reconciliation Treaty Commissioner Jamie Wilson, TRC Chair the Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, and NCTR Director Ry Moran also led a discussion on Reconciliation.
Clara Hughes, Olympian and honourary degree recipient, helps to announce the Governor General's national art and essay competition, Imagine Canada.
President Barnard also invited Canada's youth to Imagine a Canada and show the country how important it is for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to understand and respect each other and stand together in unity.
A partnership between the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network and Facebook led to the release of the Think Before You Share Guide in three Indigenous languages.